December 2013

Newsletter of ELR Software Pty Ltd

ABN 67 090 738 702

ELR Software produces a range of computer programs designed by speech pathologists for speech, language & literacy intervention. Our programs may be used interactively within therapy sessions, to increase efficiency in service delivery, and to improve access to the Internet for people with special needs. We are also available as consultants to clinicians and research projects in the fields of literacy and accessibility issues associated with the Internet.

The aim of this newsletter is to inform you of developments and changes to our major products eLr (Extra Language Resources), Build-a-Sentence, Word Meanings, Rude Readers and EIA (Enhancing Internet Access). We welcome the opportunity for feedback and questions, and will be pleased to consider including reader contributions and announcements.

This Newsletter (and previous editions) as well as a "print-ready" PDF version of the current edition is available online at www.elr.com.au/news. An email version is also sent monthly to members of our mailing list (See Subscribing/Unsubscribing).

In this issue -

  1. New eLr Materials
  2. More than 12,000 Activities in eLr
  3. Other Independent Developers
  4. Free Downloads
  5. ELR 2014 Calendar

  1. New eLr Materials

    Thirty-four new tasks have been added this month to "Reading and Spelling - Diphthong vowel sounds" in the sub-sections /ow/ sound (as in "loud"), /oy/ sound (as in "boy"), and /ay/ sound (as in "day"). All tasks use the WordBreaker model which provides material to teach segmentation of words into syllables and sounds, and to highlight more specific information about those two features, such as the stressed syllable in a multisyllabic word, and the vowel sound/s. The tasks reinforce knowledge of how to break words into sounds, and provide visual support for the spelling patterns of each sound.

    Within each sound there are activities focusing on the different spelling choices for that sound. For example, this month, the tasks within the "/ay/ sound" sub-section cover the spelling patterns of "ay" as in say, "ai" as in sail, "a_e" as in made. Once each of the spelling patterns has been mastered the "assorted spellings of this sound" sub-section provides material to teach discrimination of those words that sound the same but have different spelling patterns, eg "made, maid", "sail,sale", and "way, weigh". The model involves a sorting activity which helps the student consolidate knowledge of words that share a spelling pattern. For example, after the student has broken the word into sounds, the word is placed with words that share the same spelling pattern.

    In these tasks, as with many of the eLr activities, the role of the clinician/helper is central in providing corrective feedback about accurate decoding and segmentation, which has been shown in research to play a central role in development of sight word knowledge. Extension activities are also encouraged, eg once the word has been broken into sounds and sorted, the student would benefit from writing the word and highlighting the sounds in the word.

    The WordBreaker model is a recent addition to eLr, and we encourage feedback about any aspect of the model or the content.

  2. More than 12,000 Activities in eLr

    The new activities this month extended eLr above a total of "12,000 activities", covering almost 1,000 separate speech, language and literacy targets. Many of these activities, if printed, would require several sheets of paper, but 12,000 pages alone is a pile of paper a metre and a quarter high which would completely fill a 4-drawer filing cabinet!

    Although it's now much cheaper to buy an iPad with eLr-Offline than to print or photocopy that much paper, selected eLr activities may be usefully printed to provide an alternative reinforcement activity to write on, cut-out for a scrapbook, read at breakfast or in the car and so on.

    New activities continue to be added every month and are immediately available to subscribers and their clients on the eLr website at www.elr.com.au/elr.htm, or in the monthly updates of eLr-Offline which you can dowload from www.elr.com.au/offline for the Windows version, or the Apple store (search for "elr") for the iPad version. We still have many more ideas for additional content, and we're alway open to suggestions for new types or targets for eLr activities.

  3. Other Independent Developers

    As an occasional feature of this Newsletter, we include simple, unpaid announcements of products developed by other small, independent developers, who, like ourselves, are practising clinicians who have put their ideas and experience into resource materials for general distribution. Links and brief information about these sites may be found at www.elr.com.au/links/developers.htm. To date we have listed -

    If you would like your materials listed on this page (at no charge), please contact us.

  4. Free Downloads

    ELR has a number of free or evaluation files available for downloading directly from our website. Please see www.elr.com.au/downloads.htm for specific details. For other supporting materials and documents available for free download, please see www.elr.com.au/support.htm.

  5. ELR 2014 Calendar

    ELR Software is also able to offer free eLr support and short tutorials over the web. We can provide this sort of support to individuals, or to groups who would like to have an overview of eLr. Please contact us for details.

Subscribing/Unsubscribing to this Newsletter

You are receiving ELR-News because you are an eLr subscriber, or have expressed an interest in either eLr, Rude Readers, Word Meanings, Build-a-Sentence or EIA. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send an e-mail with details to news@elr.com.au

Copyright ©2013 ELR Software Pty Ltd

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VIC 3875, Australia
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